Cheesemakers at Fen Farm Dairy in Bungay say they are over the moon to have been named the best British cheese brand for 2022/23 in the Fine Food Digest awards. 

Voted for by delis, farm shops and food halls, the awards place the raw milk, brie-style cheese ahead of heavy hitters such as Colston Bassett Stilton, Westcombe Cheddar, Snowdonia Black Bomber and Cornish Yarg. 

Baron Bigod is made by the Crickmore family using milk from their Montbeliarde herd, which graze on the rich pastures of north Suffolk/south Norfolk in the warmer months. 

The cheese is bloomy-rinded with a supple centre that oozes slightly as it matures, giving over earthy, truffly, umami mushroom flavours. 

East Anglian Daily Times:

It's available all over the region in independent food stores and farm shops, as well as across the UK, online from their website, and direct from the farm’s own 24-hour vending machines at Bungay, where it can be purchased alongside Fen Farm’s raw milk, mascarpone, butter, and skyr, coffee, hot chocolate and local goodies including bread and cakes. 

Jonny Crickmore says: "It’s hard to believe that we have reached this point. Ten years ago we had an idea that we would start using the milk from our own herd of cows to make a bit of cheese to sell in our little honesty shop at the farm gate. Today we’ve been voted the best cheese brand in the UK. It’s a really amazing feeling. We are so proud of our whole team. Every person here at the farm has played a part in this journey."

10 ways to enjoy Baron Bigod 

1: Keep it simple. Allow the cheese to come to room temperature and serve with a few slivers of ripe pear or apple, some walnuts, and perhaps a drizzle of honey. 

2: Treat it like a French camembert. Stud with rosemary and slices of garlic, wrap and bake in the oven until luscious and melty. Scoop up with crusty bread. A splash of truffle oil over the top before baking is the ultimate indulgence. 

3: Make a gourmet toastie by slicing thick pieces of Baron Bigod into sourdough with some quince paste or fig chutney, a slice or two of prosciutto ham and a handful of rocket.  

4: Indulge in an Alpine-style dinner. Melt slices of Baron Bigod over boiled new potatoes with herbs. It’s also divine melted over roasties. 

5: Impress lunch guests with a Baron Bigod tart. Whip up a simple quiche filling, pour into a prepared quiche base and carefully layer over fat slices of the cheese before baking. Garnish with roasted red grapes. 

6: Cut the cheese into chunky pieces (about 2cms each), flour and dip into batter. Deep fry and serve with cranberry sauce/chutney flecked with freshly chopped chilli. 

7: Make Baron Bigod en croute. Roll out puff pastry to a 25cm circle about 1/2cm thick. Saute mushrooms in garlic. Season. Cool and add some freshly chopped tarragon and chives. Spoon the mixture over a whole mini cheese to cover the top. Now place the pastry over the cheese and wrap around to seal the entire thing, cutting away any excess. Make a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape, and brush with egg. Bake for 30 minutes at 200C. Serve with pickles and salad. 

8: Stuff chicken breasts with slices of Baron Bigod, fresh figs and lots of black pepper. Bake. 

9: Finish your mac and cheese with a layer of Baron Bigod. Grill and devour. 

10: Baron Bigod is beautiful with asparagus, either baked into a simple tart, or melted over the top when local spears are back in season.